Let’s be real: You love caring for your dog, but you don’t always love the time it takes to do it right. Instead of wishing that there were more hours during the day, try tweaking (i.e. hacking) your regular routine to make it more efficient. Here are twenty-three simple and unique ways to make life with your dog a little easier.
1. Thanks to your dog, your furniture is starting to look more like FURniture. Combat this with the help of a rubber glove. Place the glove on your hand and slightly dampen it with water. Swipe it over your furniture, and voila — no more fur!
2. If your hardwood floor is looking a little furry, try this trick: blow up a balloon and rub it against some fabric or your hair to generate static electricity. When it’s all charged up, hold it over the pet hair and watch the balloon lift it off.
3. Squeegees: They’re not just for washing windows. Run a squeegee across your carpet or rug to remove fur balls and hair. This trick also works on bedspreads and comforters.
4. Invest in a robotic vacuum cleaner. Not only can you set it and forget it (and reap the rewards of beautifully fur-free floors), it might also serve as free entertainment for your pet!
5. Ditch those messy paper bags that the kibble comes in. Store your dog’s dry food in airtight containers, and include a measuring cup for easy portion control.
6. Cereal containers and plastic juice jugs also make great storage containers for your dog’s kibble. Added bonus: You don’t have to get your hands dirty — just pour it into the bowl.
7. For a multi-dog, multi-caregiver household, use a Membo to track feeding schedules. Membo is a daily task reminder that flips over to let everyone know whether a job has been done yet.
8. Spray your dog’s food bowl with a little cooking spray or canola oil to make cleaning a breeze.
9. Stop ants in their tracks: Draw a circle around your dog’s outdoor food and water bowls with chalk, which disrupts the ants’ scent trail.
10. Why leave home to buy your dog’s food when the food can come directly to you? Amazon.com, Petco.com and many other online services offer direct-to-home shipping of food, treats and other dog goodies. Some will even let you set up deliveries on a repeat schedule.
11. Need to tire your dog quickly? Play fetch on a hill! Stand at the top of a hill and toss a ball down to your dog to fetch. Make him run up the hill to give you the ball, then down the hill to retrieve it again. Repeat as many times as necessary for a well-exercised dog.
12. For those days when your dog wants to play fetch but you’re too tired — or too lazy — to indulge him, use a laser Pointer and make him “fetch” the red dot. Playtime where you don’t have to leave your couch is a boon for everyone!
Health and Wellness
13. Got a dog who won’t take his pills? Make administering medication easy by hiding the pill in a piece of hot dog or a berry.
14. Save time at the veterinarian’s office by scheduling your dog’s appointments for off-peak hours — usually mid-afternoon. Typically, veterinary offices report that their busiest times are early morning (before people go to work) and evening (after people get off work).
15. Ask your veterinarian about ordering your dog’s meds online. You’ll get them sent straight to your home, and you can usually have them delivered on a monthly schedule.
16. Register your email address and cell phone number with RemindMyPet.com to receive an email or text whenever your dog needs to take his medication.
Out and About
17. If your dog gets away from you during a walk, don’t panic! Get him to return to you quickly by running in the other direction and whistling or calling his name. He’ll think you’re playing fun a game and will want to join you.
18. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to get dramatic. Make a big display of falling down and acting like you’re hurt — most likely, your dog will come running to you to see if you’re OK.
Around the House
19. Designate specific zones for your dog’s stuff so you can find it quickly and efficiently. For example, store your dog’s food where you feed him, his medication where you administer it, and his toys where he relaxes.
20. Use a shower caddy to store your dog’s treats, poop bags, leashes and toys. Hang it in the garage or by the door so you have everything ready and in one place for daily walks.
21. An over-the-door shoe organizer is a great item to store small toys, collars and other things that your dog uses.
22. Fluff your dog’s bed or pillow naturally by placing it in the sun for a few hours. The heat from the sun will draw out moisture (from sweat and drool) and leave it nice and plump.
23. Prevent your dog from chewing up your electrical cords by threading them through a length of PVC pipe
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